The Hawaii men’s basketball team swept a two-game road trip for the first time this season by picking up a gutsy 74-69 overtime win at UC Riverside today.
UH (15-10, 6-6 Big West) overcame a very slow shooting start to hit a program-record-tying 14 3-pointers, and got a career-high 23 points from junior guard Sheriff Drammeh.
The Rainbow Warriors picked up their first win of the season facing a team for the second time, and avenged a 64-60 loss to the Highlanders (7-19, 2-10) in Honolulu last week. They shot 14-for-28 from long range, including a 5-for-6 effort from Drammeh.
UH was without senior forward Mike Thomas because of an unspecified injury, but Jack Purchase had a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double, Drew Buggs had 11 points and seven assists, and Brocke Stepteau scored 11.
UCR guard Chance Murray scored 21 points and tied a UH opponent record with seven steals in the loss. Dikymbe Martin added 18 off the bench.
UH built on a three-point halftime lead to go ahead 40-30 in the second half. But UCR reclaimed the lead with a 17-5 scoring spurt.
Buggs’ steal and score with four minutes left made it 53-52 UH. Martin hit a critical 3 on an extended UCR possession for a four-point Highlanders advantage. Buggs cut that in half at the line with 1:43 left.
Purchase had a look at a go-ahead 3 with a minute left, but it clanked off the heel of the rim. Murray missed two at the line and Drammeh scored on a hanging drive to knot it at 58 with about 35 seconds left.
Martin’s shot to win in regulation was off with three seconds left.
Buggs put UH ahead first in the extra period with two free throws and his 3-pointer answered one by Martin. But Martin hit another from the corner for a 64-63 UCR lead.
UH responded with a corner triple by Drammeh and Buggs had a chance to extend the lead, but he missed the front end of a 1-and-1 foul shot and Murray tied it at 66.
Buggs found Purchase for a transition 3, answered by one from Martin.
Purchase put UH ahead inside the arc with 34 seconds left and Murray missed inside. Purchase got fouled on the rebound and he made one of two for a 72-69 lead with nine seconds left.
After a timeout, Drammeh took a charge on Murray, fouling him out, then hit the clinching free throws.